Dietary supplements could help fight fatty liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form in the world foie gras. So far, there are no approved drugs for the disease. Treatment is mainly aimed at a lifestyle change with more exercise and a change in diet. Researchers now report that a mineral supplement may help fight liver disease.
The results of a preclinical study suggest that a multimineral supplement known as Aquamin may be a way to stop the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study results were presented at the American Society for Investigative Pathology annual meeting and pre-published on the Experimental Biology (EB) 2022 meeting website.
Foie gras can be dangerous
More and more people suffer from fatty liver disease. A distinction is made between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFL) – but it is often difficult to make this distinction clearly.
The disease is characterized by excess fat stored in the liver, according to a statement from this year’s Experimental Biology (EB) conference published on the EurekAlert! portal.
Some people with this disease develop a more aggressive form, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (steatohepatitis, NASH), in which the liver becomes inflamed. This can lead to fibrosis, advanced scarring called cirrhosis, liver failure, and cancer.
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a growing public health challenge that is currently being addressed with an emphasis on lifestyle changes, particularly diet, to prevent fatty accumulation in the liver”explains the leader of the research team, Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Aslam of the University of Michigan.
However, these measures are not effective for all patients. According to the scientist, new approaches are therefore necessary.
Many do not consume enough calcium and magnesium
Isabelle Harber, an undergraduate researcher in Aslam’s lab who presented the new findings, pointed out that most people in Western countries don’t follow guidelines for daily intakes of calcium and magnesium, and likely others. minerals.
“We are working to determine if a mineral supplement could offer an inexpensive, low-toxic approach to mitigating the devastating consequences of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”according to the scientist.
Aquamine, extracted from red algae, is rich in calcium, magnesium and 72 other minerals and trace elements.
The mice did not develop cancer
In preliminary studies, researchers fed mice a high-fat diet to induce the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH. They studied these animals for 15 to 18 months to monitor the full spectrum of liver disease, including advanced fibrotic changes and liver cancer.
These studies showed a dramatic reduction in late-stage NASH episodes in animals fed the high-fat diet and given the multimineral supplement compared to those who did not receive the supplement.
In short-term studies lasting approximately 24 weeks, scientists have identified protein changes associated with NASH.
And in long-term studies, it was observed that most mice on a high-fat diet had large liver tumors, while mice on the same diet did not develop liver cancer when given the mineral supplement, explains Aslam.
“These results confirmed our previous findings that minerals may have the potential to reduce the downstream consequences of fatty liver disease”says the researcher.
Tolerance and safety studies
Since the short-term and long-term studies were conducted on different types of mice, the researchers next plan to conduct both sets of studies on the same animals.
This should allow them to identify early protein changes in individual animals that predict later outcomes or may be associated with protection against such outcomes.
The research team recently completed a 90-day pilot phase in 30 healthy people at risk for colorectal cancer who were randomized to receive Aquamin or a placebo. The study showed that the mineral supplement posed no safety or tolerability concerns, including possible liver damage.
Researchers are also beginning to conduct pilot clinical studies to assess the safety and tolerability of Aquamin for 180 days. Liver damage and inflammation markers will be part of the endpoints of the study. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
- Isabelle Harber (University of Michigan), Dania Zedan (University of Michigan), Shannon McClintock (University of Michigan), James Varani (University of Michigan), Muhammad Aslam (University of Michigan): 526.3 – Proteomic profile of liver in mice – Fat diet: Modulation with anti-tumor intervention; on the congress website: Experimental Biology (EB), (published on: 04/03/2022), Experimental Biology (EB)
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.